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Solar ovens and solar coffee

Solar ovens aren't a new phenomenon, but with the worldwide interest in alternative energy growing, new attention is being focused on them. NGOs are distributing them to impoverished villages where deforestation and desertification are a problem, and they're also popular in places where fire risk is extremely high (for instance, with campers inside particularly dry national parks). One interesting fact about solar cookers is that many of them use the greenhouse effect to cook food: solar rays are reflected and concentrated inside a glass box, which traps increasingly hot air inside. As the temperature builds, your food cooks, and even the humblest of solar ovens can reach 350 degrees in about 30 minutes. The main problem with these contraptions is that they function best during the hottest parts of the day -- when people are the least likely to want a hot meal. But a Colorado company has found an ingenious way to use the midday cooking power of the sun to their advantage: by roasting coffee.

Solar Roast Coffee has invented (and continues to refine) a specialized array of focusing mirrors, which swivel to follow the arc of the sun during the day, and can roast a drum of coffee beans at up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. (You can watch it in action here.) The beans may be brown, but this is one green coffee.

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The Origins of 36 Marvel Characters, Illustrated
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

No matter what their powers, every super hero has an origin story, from Spider-Man’s radioactive bite to Iron Man’s life-threatening chest shrapnel. In their latest poster, the designers at Pop Chart Lab have taken their infographic savvy to the Marvel Universe, charting the heroic origins of 36 different Marvel characters through miniature, minimalist comics.

Without using any words, they’ve managed to illustrate Bucky Barnes's plane explosion and subsequent transformation into the Winter Soldier, Jessica Jones’s car crash, the death of the Punisher’s family, and other classic stories from the major Marvel canon while paying tribute to the comic book form.

Explore the poster below, and see a zoomable version on Pop Chart Lab’s website.

A poster featuring 36 minimalist illustrations of superhero origin stories.
Pop Chart Lab

Keep your eyes open for future Marvel-Pop Chart crossovers. The Marvel Origins: A Sequential Compendium poster is “the first release of what we hope to be a marvelous partnership,” as Pop Chart Lab’s Galvin Chow puts it. Prints are available for pre-order starting at $37 and are scheduled to start shipping on March 8.

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